The New York Jets have a substantial amount of salary cap flexibility heading into the 2018 NFL season, and they're making it no secret they intend to flex their financial muscle in free agency.
Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan, who has nearly $90 million in cap space to play with, is planning on landing some big talent when free agency begins on March 14.
"Obviously we'll be very active on the first day in terms of the higher profile guys," Maccagnan told Brian Costello of the New York Post. "I think the one thing I've noticed in the NFL this year or in the past years, I should say, is free agency moves very quickly. If you have guys targeted and you have your range how you value them, we'll be very active."
Free agency won't officially begin until Wednesday, but teams can begin contract negotiations with impending free agents on Monday. This is often a critical time for the front offices of active NFL teams, as the framework for potential deals gets hammered out.
The rebuilding Jets have plenty of holes to fill on their roster, including at starting quarterback, running back, and cornerback. New York finished just 5-11 last season, but also owns eight draft selections - including the sixth overall pick - in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft. The front office will be able to address many of these needs via the draft, so it'll be intriguing to see how they prioritize their spending on the free agent market.
"It will be interesting to see which players we can potentially line up first for initial visits," Maccagnan added."We may sign a big-ticket guy. We may sign a small-ticket guy. It will be very interesting to see how it plays out. Everybody is well aware we have quite a bit of cap space to work with. There are quite a few players we're interested in."
Perhaps the most logical route to becoming competitive again would be to sign former Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. The team is rumored to be very interested in the free agent pivot, and although he'd command upwards of $30 million in cap space to sign, he's a high-priced gamble that would stabilize the offense. Wideout Allen Robinson and rusher Dion Lewis are two other names that could help improve New York's offense.
The Jets haven't qualified for the playoffs since 2010, and have failed to win a championship since 1968.
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